Monday, December 29, 2014

Hola familia y amigos! Feliz Navidad!!

It was sweet being able to skype on Christmas and see everyone. Looks like everyone is doing good and the cousins are all getting big. There isn't much to say because we just talked but all is well here. It has been tough with lots of people leaving for vacations but we have still had success and are seeing some progress.
Getting robbed Christmas Eve threw us off a little bit this week. The grinch came instead of Santa Claus for us. It really was pretty freaky. I felt like we were in a horror movie. We were a little shaken up and I couldn't sleep hardly at all for a couple nights after but Bishop gave us both a blessing and that really helped. We have been a lot more jumpy lately whenever we hear the tiniest noise in the house but I know we are safe and protected. We are just so grateful that nothing happened. Just gotta find a new suitcase now and well the stuff inside of it wasn't really important. It was a lot sadder for Bishop's family. They lost a lot.
Christmas Eve when we got to Familia De La Pena's house cold and wet.
The Lord was really looking out for us and we are so blessed that they didn't come upstairs and find us in the bathroom hiding, shaking and praying. Bishop's wife was like maybe they didn't recognize that you were women or maybe they didn't hear you. But... we were pretty loud... and I'm pretty sure we sound like a couple little American girls. Proof that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. I have seen the miracles of prayer so many times here on my mission.
This was at our mission Christmas activity last Tuesday! Our zone sang called to serve in Spanish and English doing a cup rhythm thing and they elders were doing a skit in the background.
President and the Assistants skit. It was a pretty sweet activity. We had a testimony meeting first then a talent show, some games and food.
The members here are the greatest! The four of us Hermanas had foot massages this morning... :) Felt SO good!!! Then we went bowling in the mall. I actually didn't do THAT bad the second round. It was a pretty chill pday. We have cambios next week and we have no idea whats going to happen because we both have 3 transfers here in this ward and 2 of them as companions so I'm pretty sure we will have some sort of change.
Love you all lots and hope you have a Happy New Year!! 2015!! I have already made my long list of goals and plans for this year. It's gonna be a good one. So grateful that I get to spend the mayor part of it representing the Savior and sharing the many blessings I have received through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Also because of transfers we have pday next week on Wednesday :) 
Love you and pray for you often.
Hermana Rhoten

Monday, December 22, 2014

We had an awesome week!

We had some great lessons and are seeing more progress. A lot of people have told us that we won't have anything to do this week but we still are full with citas even Christmas Eve and Christmas day. The work of the Lord is moving forward quickly. The best part about teaching the gospel is when you can feel the Spirit testifying through you. I have learned through many experiences that the Holy Ghost is the only one who can convert the people we are teaching. We cant convince them of anything ourselves but if we can create an atmosphere and are worthy so that the Spirit can testify through us as the Lords servants they are converted. 

Con Abuelitos De La Pena at the ward Christmas party! Love them.

Some pictures from our ward party.

The primary singing.

More from the ward activity. We had a talent show.

Our Christmas card!!! We didn't print out many cuz it was kind of expensive. But something to give to some families here in the ward. Yep were a pretty cute companionship. 

The crepe breakfast that my comp made for my birthday! Pretty yumm

It was fun having a birthday in the mission and we ate lots of cake this week for sure. There's a lot of pictures from my comps camera that I will probably send next week too. I was really grateful for the wonderful people here that helped me celebrate. 

My package that Hermana Cecy brought over on my birthday!! Thanks mom. Your the best. We thought the Santa hats were pretty awesome. We wore them to the Christmas party :)

Birthday party with Hermana Lilian! Ive mentioned her before. Shes a little bit crazy because shes lived alone for the past 34 years and is bipolar but she is also really sweet and threw me a surprise party well I kinda found out but originally it was a surprise. She's diabetic so we had some sugar free cream cake. But it was way good!

Con Familia Diaz! We had a cita on my birthday to stop by and then they were upset that we didn't tell them it was going to be my birthday so we came back on Friday and so we could sing and eat cake together. They are the most adorable family ever. Andrea was trying to distract us outside so her mom and sister could finish getting everything ready inside. We were eating this candy that looks like worms.

Our cake. It was pretty good. Chocolate y lechera.

Yesterday morning the other Hermanas in our ward called us and said President has been trying to get a hold of us but we didn't have signal and then we started receiving messages to call him. He asked us what we were doing in the afternoon. I told him we already had citas. Then he wanted to know with who and exactly when and he was getting us all nervous like maybe he wanted to come to citas with us or we were going to have special changes or someone died or something but then he told us that Elder Valenzuela called him and wants us to go to the Visitors Center in the afternoon to see my cousin. So yeah it was pretty sweet! We changed our schedule around to go to all our citas early and spend the last hour and a half of the day at the Visitor's Center with Rob and Rina and her family :) It was awesome.
Rob and Rinamay Rhoten
These are all of them with Rob and Rina. They took more too! It was so cool to see them and catch up a little bit. Presidents orders. The benefits of having a seventy as your uncle I guess. Definitely made my week!
Think I've said before how whenever you go to the Visitor's Center you find someone you know. Last night I saw a family from my other ward in Bosques! Valeria and her mom were there. She is Vanessa Hudgesens twin. Just a shorter version. I was way excited to see them again!
And Hermana Rose! She was in the MTC with me and is in another mission. So fun to run in to each other. Also saw Hermana Larson and Hermana Nelson again there last night. I had ran into them before though. It was crazy there yesterday. SO many people.
The cute cookies that came in the package you sent!!
Hope everyone has a super Feliz Navidad! I'll see you when we skype on Thursday!! Happy 44th Birthday Mom!!!! I love you lots and hope you get super spoiled on your special day :) 

Con amor, 

Hermana Rhoten

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hola! Another awesome week!

Went by quick. And.... my comp and I just realized we didn't take any photos... super lame. Were gonna take lots this week for sure :) We took a selfie in the street on our way to write just to have something to send.

Well everything is going well and I am LOVING being able to share the gospel with the Christmas spirit in the air. My area has lots of cute lights and trees and we've been starting to get offered lots of ponche. It's a fruit tea. But its SUPER good. So I don't mind having it everyday. 

We have a lot of investigators right now but all are progressing really slowly... or not progressing. So lots of work to do! I feel like we are planting some solid seeds but not as many making it to the waters of baptism recently. But we are fasting and praying for miracles and know that they will come. 

I was reading this week in Helaman 10 and I LOVE the example of Nefi and his faithfulness to the Lord and how the Lord had so much confidence in him that what ever he asked for he was given because the Lord knew that he wouldn't ask for anything that would be against His will. He promised to make him powerful in words and acts and faith. (It seems to make more sense in Spanish but the scripture is something like that.. pretty sure it's verse 5) But I loved this example and know that it's true that when we are faithful and give our all to the Lord that is when we have the right to ask and receive.
Guilty of not taking pictures this week and forwarding this picture that my old comp Hna Fowler sent me with her group email... :) These pinatas are everywhere right now! For the posadas or I think that's how you spell it. They fill them with fruit.
My companion and I made some new goals this week and have been analyzing our work each day to make sure we are being exactly obedient. It's been a cool focus and are already seeing the blessings of it. We are trying our best to turn the work over to the Lord and let His Spirit guide us. It's been fun to read the mission manual and pay more attention to every detail and search for little things we can do to become more consecrated and obedient. I know there is power when we follow the Lord's counsel with exactness

Thanks for all the birthday wishes this week!! Can't believe it's already my birthday. Pretty crazy how fast the time goes by. Love you all and excited to skype soon. 

Have a great week!

Hermana Rhoten

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hola!!! We had an awesome week!

Last night we were going to watch the Christmas Devotional with a family of investigators but their mom didn't get home in time from her vacation like they planned so we decided to go watch it with Hermano y Hermana De La Penas. We call him Abuelito De La Pena because he seriously helps us out so much. Always wanting to drive us around and help with our laundry and when I was sick him and his wife helped me a TON too. We love their family lots! They left us the laptop and a big jar of dulces so we could watch it in English. I was way excited. Haven't listened to anything church related in English since I got on my mission so it was pretty cool. Gotta love going to grandparents house. Always lots of candy :) Reminds me lots of grandma and grandpa Rhoten's candy jars that were always on the counter. After the devo Abuelita made us hot chocolate and sweet bread too :) So good. There are so many panerias here. Dad would love the food here I think. Lots and lots of fried food.... :/ When ever we walk into the comida and I hear that sound of food frying on the stove my heart just sinks. Most people don't know how to cook any other way here it seems. I want to teach them how to use the ovens... they usually use them for storage here of pots and pans... but its alright the food is still good and I'm grateful for the sacrifices they make.

We caught a picture with the random fireworks in the backround. There are fireworks a lot here and we usually don't know why. Usually a day for some santo or saint that someone is celebrating. Everyone's catholic here. We've been warned that this Friday is the Virgin Maria's day. So gonna be some crazy celebrations!
Working hard and seeing a lot of miracles. Well actually we've been having a lot of baptism dates fall and not a lot of progress so we started praying really really hard and fasting for miracles and they came! Yesterday we didn't have any investigators confirmed to go to church but we got up and left the house by 7am praying we could find someone to come to church with us at 8am. We just about gave up and started walking to the chapel when we felt strongly to go by the house of an investigator that lives with her less active boyfriend. We have been trying to get them to church for the past three months and they always say yes but then are usually hungover or don't wake up in time but we showed up at 7:45 to surprise them and they got up and were excited to go to church. It was a miracle! They showered quick and we got out of the door by 8:20. A member in our ward noticed we were late to church (usually never happens.... :) and came to pick us up. Also there wasn't the little vasos (cups) ready for the sacrament so they started pretty late. We got there just in time to take the sacrament :) Mormon mexican standard time.. :) And also Connie came!! The mom of the recent  convert Armando. The family that we painted for this week. AND she brought a friend who wasn't a member. It was a miracle.. then after church we stopped by a member who we noticed wasn't at church in the morning whose husband isn't a member and they both went with us to the other ward at 12. Yep it was a day full of miracles for sure.
From our painting project this week! Yeah.. they just wanted to paint it all white.. but it was still fun :) They changed our district around this transfer. Elder Peterson the one that Kristen Christensen knows is my new district leader. It makes more sense because we share a chapel with them and are areas are right by each other.  We painted for Armando and his mom Connie. Armando is almost 16 and a recent convert. He is a great missionary! He calls us up wondering when he can come help us teach every week. Its usually the other way around...and yesterday him and a couple of the other young men in our ward went out giving Book of Mormons in the street and finding us people to teach even scheduled us an appointment.. it was hilarious. Our ward is very supporting :)

Another one last night when we stopped to contact a guy washing his car and he has already listened to missionaries before but never got baptized.. but his mom did! They let us in and were more than excited to see missionaries in their home again. They said they haven't had missionaries in the home in 5 years and that the Elders who were last there were excellent and a blessing to their family. The grandma Guadelupe is a member but doesn't go because no one goes with her. Her husband Alejandro agreed to start taking the discussions and want us to teach their whole family. All their 4 grown kids live there and 2 of them are married and their 3 grandchildren :) We were really happy. And they gave us limon chia water and pineapple jello. Love them already. 

A couple old pictures from my companions camera.
Anyways hope everyone has a great week! Can't believe I will be skyping with you soon! And almost my birthday too. crazy. It doesn't feel like December here because it's still so hot out but the mornings and evenings are a little chilly and I feel like I'm freezing to death. My companion always says just wait til next year when we are at school in Iceburg, Idaho. We are gonna freeze for sure!

Love you all lots!

Hermana Rhoten